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Are you a medical practitioner or a student looking for a unique opportunity to gain hands-on medical experience in Nepal in a real hospital setting? Do you dream of travelling to Nepal for an affordable volunteer opportunity to help sick disadvantaged people?
Medical volunteering is one of the noblest acts you can take up in a developing country like Nepal. Although it is a daunting experience, you will not only share your passion by serving humanity but also enhance your medical skills and experience while shadowing professional doctors in Nepal.
In this guide we shall help you plan your medical volunteering trip to Nepal from learning everything about the preparation process through to the final stage, completing the project to giving your feedback and review.
Volunteering abroad is an international opportunity to travel overseas to make meaningful and life-changing philanthropic contributions to impoverished communities. It is one of the most affordable and useful ways to travel abroad.
While on international volunteering, you will gain career experience and learn more versatile life skills while travelling to beautiful places of interest while immersing in the culture.
It does not matter whether you are a student, a professional or just passionate about medical care, if you have a summer, spring, fall or winter vacation you have limitless opportunities to join medical volunteering in Nepal.
Many people volunteer for various reasons. Some do it for an opportunity to gain international experience, others take it as an opportunity to build professional social circles and some will do it just for an opportunity to explore and learn new culture, the list is endless.
Despite all the reasons one mutual aspect is that all volunteers are passionate about impacting positive change in the world. Here is a list we have put together to inspire you to take up your healthcare volunteer trip to Nepal
Nepal is a safe country
Nepal is known to be one of the safest countries in the world, mostly because of the religious nature of the people. The political climate in Nepal is also very calm and stable. Crime for international travellers is not a regular occurrence even when trekking and hiking. Low-level crimes are also low but you are advised to be on the look out for your personal items at all times just like in any other country.
Make a positive change in the world
In Nepal, the cost of using the healthcare facilities is expensive and the poor people can barely afford. The few government hospitals that exist are often poorly run and very slow in delivering their services.
By joining medical volunteer opportunity in Nepal, you will not only be learning and gaining medical experience shadowing professional doctors but also feel fulfilled that you are positively impacting lives of impoverished communities in Nepal.
Nepal is a stunning country with spectacular and breathtaking sceneries of the Himalayas. The cool fantastic weather and the fascinating Buddhist and Hindu monasteries, palaces and temples are some of the most popular attractions for tourists. It is also world-famous for being hikers and rock climbers’ hot spot destination, with multiple national parks around the country and over 200 gorgeous glacial lakes.
Authentic diverse culture immersion experience
With over 123 ethnic languages, Nepal is considered a multicultural and multiethnic country. The major religions practiced in Nepal are Hinduism and Buddhism, and they have co-existed in harmony for many generations. There is so much to experience while you can also attend cultural festivities from both religions. The culture is intertwined between India and Tibet.
Change your perspectives and experience new way of life
Most of us live in a fairly small bubble, taking a Nepal medical volunteer trip really challenges you to look at things differently and from other people’s perspective. This could be the one chance in your life to see firsthand how people live in Nepal, and to appreciate the things they value which often times you may not pay much attention to in your regular life back at home.
Is medical volunteering in Nepal really for me?
Am I really good enough to travel to volunteer? How do I know that I am ready to travel to Nepal to volunteer?
We can understand that you a little skeptical to commit to travel to Nepal. Honestly, it’s a difficult decision to make, and you need to evaluate the pros and conscautiously. The truth is that volunteering is not for everyone, but here are some questions to help you decide if volunteer Nepal medical trip is for you or not.
Are you open to meeting new people and creating new relationship?
If you are shy, nervous or uptight about making new friends or working closely with strangers then this medical program will be difficult for you. If you struggle working with people or not open to being around people volunteering abroad is hard for you too.
During your healthcare volunteer abroad program, you will constantly be meeting all kinds of people . From, doctors to the medical staff, patients and other volunteers there will be so many interactions going on. You have to be open and ready to build both personal and professional relationships.
Are you willing to step of your comfort zone?
While in Nepal you will be living in a shared house sharing the bathrooms. Most often facilities like TV and WIFI may not be available. Are you ready for that? Are you willing to take a cold shower when the hot water is not available? If you answered yes, then you are ready for your trip to Nepal medical volunteer opportunity.
Do you have sufficient funds to support your trip to Nepal?
Sadly, the medical trip to Nepal, just like most things in life is not free. You will have to pay for your flight, visa, accommodation, meals, travel insurance including vaccinations and other personal expenses. You will be required enough funds to cater for these expenses.
Are you a medical student, nurse or medical professional? Do you have passion for medical care and helping poor people?
You must be a medical student, nurse or a medical professional to join this program. Also, if you are not passionate about helping people and good healthcare then this medical volunteering in Nepal is not your forte. To work in the medical field you need genuine interest to be able to achieve the overall goal of positively changing the world. You can use this opportunity to be pro active and explore any other medical interest that you may have.
Are you open-minded and flexible enough?
To volunteer, you must be understanding of difficult situations and be able to handle them gracefully and considerately. You must be open minded to learn new culture and language, try new food, and meet new people. It can be overwhelming but you open up opportunities for a rewarding volunteer experience if you are more flexible and accepting.
Travelling to Nepal can be an exhilarating experience but at the same time provide you with great experience. There are plenty of things to be done to prepare for Nepal medical volunteer program trip. We have prepared a comprehensive breakdown of what you need to do before leaving for Nepal. Getting a head start on your preparation plans will avoid last minute frantic mess.
You require a valid passport to travel internationally. It should have a validity of at least 6 months from your date of travel with two blank visa pages. This is needed in case you request for a visa extension. If you have no passport start the application process early or you will pay a fee to expedite the application process.
You will be required a tourist visa to join medical volunteering experience in Nepal. Without a legit tourist visa, you will not be allowed entry. Visit the official embassy or consulate of Nepal in your home country and to apply for the tourist visa. It can take at least 4 to 5 days or sometimes even more get your visa.
You can also apply for on arrival tourist visa at the Tribhuvan International Airport depending on your nationality. Nationalities of countries like Canada, US, UK and Australia are eligible for visa on arrival.
Visa extension services are available at the Immigration Office of Nepal in either Kathmandu or Pokhara if you’d like to stay longer and spend more time In Nepal medical project.
When you plan to travel for medical volunteering in Nepal you need to be vaccinated to avoid contracting deadly diseases. Vaccinating is the most idea medical procedure that will help defend your immune system from diseases while in Nepal. Many diseases are preventable if you’re vaccinated against them.
In rural communities in Nepal many poor people do not have access to great medical care and since you will be working directly with sick people it is important to be protected.
Control Diseases Center is a great resource for Nepal travel vaccination update, we also advise you to schedule a doctor’s visit for more info and tests. Many vaccinations require up to 6 weeks building up your immune system keep that in mind.
When you decide to volunteer medical work in Nepal, you will be responsible for purchasing your own return ticket. Buying tickets early is a bargain you can save hundreds of dollars. It is advisable to get your tickets about 120 days before your travel date. Use international travel booking apps to snag a good deal for your flight.
How much money do you need to bring along? Are there ways to raise extra money to travel to Nepal?
The simple answer is yes! You can raise money by reaching out to family and friends for a contribution to a good cause in Nepal. You need to get a great presentation outlining your goals and objectives for positive contribution in poor rural communities in Nepal.
You can also use online crowd funding resources or social media that is now a popular fund raising avenue.
Herewith some popular links for volunteers crowd funding…
Typically you will need money to pay
Recommended Reading Resources
Nothing gives you a better insight of a country more than a well-written guidebook . There are inside stories about ancient Nepal compared to modern day Nepal giving you a deep understanding of the culture and history.
Reading resources increase your knowledge and you will be clearly articulate when in medical volunteering in Nepal because the information gained from reading gives you plenty to talk about.
Popular books found on Amazon
You have selected to join medical program in Nepal, signed commitment documents, paid your registration fees, and now you are hitched to a life changing fulfilling medical experience in Nepal.
What’s next, you may be wondering? Its time to pack…
Packing list for volunteering abroad can be a dismaying situation if you get in to the nitty-gritty without a proper checklist.
You will be provided with a basic checklist that will include what you need while medical volunteering opportunity in Nepal. Feel free to add to the list if you have other preferences but remember to pack light!
It is a sign of respect and appreciation in Nepal to bring a small gift for your host family or for the medical hospital you will be volunteering at. Simple supplies like first aid kit, gloves and bandages will be great gifts, many hospitals lack basic supplies your gifts will be extremely helpful.
Information To Know Before Travelling For Medical Volunteering In Nepal
The absolute first thing is to be acquainted with all the information about the medical program in Nepal. It is also important to be aware of your accommodation, meals and transport situation while in Nepal . All in all, you should not be blindsided when already in the country. Ask for all the details before travelling so just incase you don’t like anything you have time to make necessary changes.
Make sure you are equipped with all the information you need. We have prepared general information that you need to know so you can be at ease while travelling:
Accommodation and Meals while in Nepal
While in Nepal medical volunteering your living situation will be arranged for you. You will be provided accommodation either with a carefully vetted host family or in volunteer house.
Our volunteer house is situated at Kalanki, about 2km far from the tourist hub Thamel. The house is a permanent 2 story building that offers all the necessary facilities for you. Generally, volunteers will share a room with other volunteers of same gender. The facilities in the house include quality home cooked meals thrice a day, western style toilets with running water, clean comfortable beddings and so on.
Host Family- You will be living with a respected host family for an opportunity to be integrated in the culture while living like a local depending on your placement. Our host families are carefully selected for your safety, comfort and cultural experiences. They will also provide you with three home cooked healthy local meals per day.
Living with a host family is a great experience as they will welcome you to your home and share meals with your while treating you like a family member. For your comfort, the home has multiple spacious rooms well equipped with single beds, comfy bedding materials, electricity outlets and other modern facilities.
Before travelling for medical volunteering in Nepal you should get all the information about your host family:
Living with people can be challenging especially if you have different cultures and customs however if you are flexible enough you will find the right balance for a fulfilling volunteer experience abroad.
Who will support you while in medical Nepal volunteering work? What will they assist me with? When are they available to assist me?
As a volunteer you are certainly bound to face challenges and it is comforting to know there is someone available to assist you with anything you may need. No matter what you go through your in-country coordinator will be your “guardian angel” supporting and advising you before you arrive in Nepal up until your departure.
In Nepal there is an in-country support with staff members including drivers and coordinators all set to help you out.
You can contact your in-country coordinator before arriving in medical volunteer opportunities in Nepal programs to respond to any questions that you have. Ensure you have all his contact information saved up in case of an emergency.
Here is how the in-country coordinator can support you:
Making the final call before departing for Nepal
You may be asking yourself why should I make this call?
The simple answer it is a “clearance” call. It is important to confirm with your in-country coordinator in Nepal that you are guaranteed to travel to join Nepal medical volunteering experience and that you’re on your way. It is imperative to reconfirm your arrival date, time, flight number, airline and the arrival terminal.
Also get the names, address and phone number of the staff member that will be picking you up from the airport. Confirm with the coordinator that you have all the information that might be needed at the airport on arrival in Nepal.
Let us now formally welcome you to Nepal!
Your adventure has literally begun! This beautiful land of the Himalayas will offer you plenty of options, with adventurous activities and tourist attractions including diverse and unique Nepalese culture .
Now that you have joined medical volunteer opportunities in Nepal you will be able to help change poor communities by showing your love and passion. You will support poor people for an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling chance. This lifetime opportunity is worth every moment you are in Nepal.
Upon arrival, a local representative will be waiting to pick you up from the arrivals terminal. He will help you with your luggage and transfer you to your accommodation, where you will have a comprehensive security brief and orientation to start your new life in Nepal.
Before you travel to Nepal confirm every single detail you need to know regarding the medical project and your accommodation.
We prepared a checklist that you can use to confirm you carry all you need without forgetting anything. One simple mistake can ruin the entire medical volunteer in Nepal trip. So pay close attention.
Are you concerned about your safety while volunteering? What can you do to stay safe?
Nepal is generally a very safe country for travellers. Nepalese people are warm and welcoming. However, your safety should be a priority at all time. Take full responsibility to be safe through your own actions, by using your gut feelings, watch your surroundings and avoid attracting unnecessary attention.
Here are more safety precautions that will play an important role to ensure your safety while in Nepal:
The Do’s’ and Don’ts’ of Volunteer Medical In Nepal
Cultural Shock: What To Expect And How to Deal With It
When you arrive in Nepal for volunteering healthcare program we can’t promise you an easy slide. It will be perplexing at the beginning but in a few days you will settle and get used to your new life.
Imagine the agony of travelling to Nepal only for your trip to be ruined by the shock of how things are different from your home country. This should not happen, because luckily you’ll have a guide on how to overcome culture shock like a champion.
The solution is simple:
Face the challenges head on
There is a great satisfaction when you face challenges with confidence and take charge or everything that is going on around you as a learning curve. One of the famous metaphors that help a lot volunteers abroad is to take one day at a time and every challenge is a lesson learned to do better the next time.
Learn the local language and culture
The more you learn about Nepalese food, language, traditions, customs and festivities the easier it will get for you to embrace your new life. Try and participate in their festivities as much as you can. Also show interest to learn the language to gain independence and self-confidence.
Expand your social circle
During Nepal medical volunteering experience, you will have an exceptional occasion to meet different people from around different cultures and regions in Nepal. Take advantage of that to learn more about the country. Spending time with other people is also a great way to overcome any anxious feeling and overcome your frustrations.
Be patient and open-minded
Show a willingness to try out new things, listen to different perspectives and consider participating in new activities. Be agreeable to listen to new ideas even when they are different from what you think. Patience is a virtual. Every good thing takes time. If anything you need done does not go as fast as you are used to back at home, be patient it will eventually happen.
The reason you travelled to Nepal was to support underprivileged people through your skills, love and passion to help them lead a better life. It is also an opportunity to learn new medical skills and experiences working alongside professional doctors.
How To Make You Volunteer Experience Rewarding
Have you achieved that? Did you have a rewarding volunteer experience while medical volunteering in Nepal?
Your decision should be able to pay off with many rewarding experiences. To guarantee an extraordinary and rewarding medical trip experience , you’ll want do this:
Do not expect too much
Having low expectation and no luxury is one of the best things you can do in while volunteering in Nepal. Nepal is a developing country and you will generally be working with poor communities with no access to medical care. There is no luxury about that. Use the opportunity to embrace your new life and live like a local.
Immerse in the culture
Nothing describes medical volunteering in Nepal experience without indulging in local traditions, customs, food, dressing, region and much more. The more involved and fascinated you are to practice the Nepalese way of life the better the probabilities you have for a worthwhile trip in Nepal.
Tour and Explore places of great interest
Nepal is a country known for its beautiful and diverse landscapes with friendly people. Nepal is famous for its wildlife including vast national parks, the trekking trails and beautiful glacial lakes. The country has rich history spanning years of the famous Hindu and Buddhist cultures, you will have enough in your plate to explore.
Be passionate about medical volunteer in Nepal:
If you love and appreciate the entire perspective of the medical program it gives the morale and great interest to make it a success. Working with poor people will help you achieve your goals for making the world a positive place.
Stay connected with your in-country coordinator
Your in-country coordinator is your lifeline during volunteer Nepal medical trip stay in contact at all time. If you experience any kind of issues keep let him know as soon as possible. A good relationship with the your in-country coordinator will help you have a great and rewarding experience in Nepal
Things To See And Do While Medical Volunteering In Nepal
Are you wondering if you will get enough time to travel while in Nepal? Would you like to know some amazing places you can explore while in Nepal?
While in Nepal, you will be working for 4-5 hours every day. You get free time in the morning and in the evenings to spend exploring the nearby beautiful and memorable areas near your host family home.
Over the weekend of your Nepal medical mission you will go on longer tours and excursion around the country. You will typically work for 5 days in a week, Monday through Friday. You get 2 days off each week to spend exploring the places of natural beauty and cultural significance in Nepal.
Everest Trekking Base
Visit one of the most exciting trekking trails on the east of Nepal. The altitude here is high and the scenery is magnificent.
If you are looking for an adventure this is your best bet. It is about 1,100 meters long Stretching from Thakledanda of Kavre to Khawa of Panchkahl Municipality.
Last Resort Bungee Jumping
Last resort it is one of the highest bungee jump in Asia. It offers assorted sports and adventure
Visit this gorgeous and sacred Hindu temple that is located in the banks of river Bagmati. It is the main seat of Pashupatinath.
While in Nepal medical volunteer work explore this Stupa that is a pilgrimage destinations for Tibetans . It was built in around 600 AD.
This gorgeous village is in the central part of Nepal in the border of the Kathmandu valley. It is most famous to have the best views of the Himalayas including the Northeast side of Mount Everest.
Explore this large limestone cave that is locate in Pokhara. It has stalagmites an stalacites and attracts thousands of tourists each year.
This is a must visit ancient religious architecture on top of Kathmandu hills. It is also known as the monkey temple.
It is a tourist friendly commercial area in Kathmandu. It is the city’s main nightlife zone with hundreds of restaurants and bars. It is a great place to experience international cuisine and drinks as a medical volunteer Nepal.
Explore Lumbini the famous birthplace of Lord Buddha. It is known as where Lord Shiva was born in 623 BC. It is located in South of Nepal.
Dating back in the 8th century, you can go on a shopping spree here. It is famous for terracotta and handicrafts.
It is a UNSESCO world heritage site. The climate is perfect for wildlife.
It is one of the most beautiful valleys to visit in Nepal. It is located between the Annapurna and Himalayan range.
This a great and popular natural waterfall located in Pokhara in Kaski. It has formed an underground tunnel that hits the bottom of the fall.
While in medical volunteering Nepal program, you will enjoy a boat ride in the sunset on this beautiful fresh water lake in the south of Pokhara city.
International Mountain Museum
This museum is known to have all the data that involves all the mountains in Nepal.
Khokana and Bungamati Villages
Travel to the countryside and visit these villages most famous for woodcraft and extraction of mustard oil.
The park has rich and unique variety of wildlife. It is also good opportunity to hike while volunteering in Nepal in healthcare program.
The Mount Everest, lofty peaks and deep ravines surround it. It is gorgeous with breathtaking sceneries.
How Can You Continue To Support Medical Volunteering In Nepal Project?
When you complete your volunteering period we hope you can continue to support our efforts in Nepal. We know that you have seen and experienced what poor communities in Nepal are going through and based on that you would be willing to join us after completing your volunteer project to do better.
You devoted your resources, time and passion to provide a means for poor people in Nepal and for this we appreciate.
We would love to hear your feedback. An online review, photos, videos or social media post and blogs will support other aspirant volunteers, now you have firsthand medical volunteering experience in Nepal.
You can also help in other ways including:
Writing an inspiration blog
You can inspire other volunteers to travel to Nepal by writing motivational blogs based on your experience. You can also share photos or videos of your experience in Nepal.
Many volunteers would love to know about
We are constantly seeking feedback to improve our services and evolve our medical volunteer programs in Nepal. You can rate how satisfied you were with our performance and if you had a rewarding valuable trip.
Help in fundraising efforts
You can help us reach out to more people by raising awareness to your friends, family and colleagues. You have seen the situation in Nepal and the needs of the poor people, meaning you are in a better position to help us raise more donations for our programs.
Stay in touch
Stay connected with the people you met and created relationships with while in Nepal. Keep checking on the doctors, medical staff, host family and your in-country coordinator. If you are also interested in returning back to Nepal these contacts will be very helpful in the future.
I am a vegetarian will I be able to get the meals I need?
Yes! Your host family will accommodate your dietary requirements. Ensure you inform your in-country coordinator in advance.
Can I volunteer with my Spouse?
Absolutely yes! We will organize and arrange for you to volunteer together and be given first priority to a private bedroom in a homestay or in the volunteer hostel.
Do people in Nepal speak English?
English is a spoken as a second language in Nepal . A good number of people working in the medical project speak English including your in-country coordinator. However we encourage you to also try and learn the local language.
Will transport to medical volunteer in Nepal be provided?
This will depend on your placement. Sometimes you can even walk to your placement from the hospital. However, you can confirm with your in-country coordinator about the options available for while in Nepal.
Will airport pick up and drop off be available?
Our local representative at the airport will welcome you after upon arrival and transfer you to your host family home. But at the end of Nepal medical volunteer opportunity, you will not be offered airport transfer services but your host family or the local staff will assist you to find your way there.
Closing With A Few Final Words
Volunteer programs are not luxurious tourist trips. You will be offered basic services, but you can travel with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and understand other cultures as your grow your medical career. Treating people in Nepal with love, kindness and respect will grow your social circle and give you a peace of mind.
Finally, medical volunteering Nepal is always helpful to the local community; however, you cannot always see instant results that you have made a positive contribution to the world. Don’t worry! If there are no immediate outcomes visible, be content acknowledge that you have donated your time, passion, and energy for a good cause to help impoverished communities in Nepal.
RCDP Nepal also offers other volunteer programs in Nepal, such as teaching English, childcare, photojournalism , healthcare volunteering, nature conservation etc. If you are interested in any of these programs and want to know the full details, read our complete guidebooks on Childcare volunteer program in Nepal, volunteering to teach English in Nepal and buddhist monastery program in Nepal.